Joseph's Life Story


Telling the truth doesn’t make you popular

One of the first things we read about Joseph, is that he brought a bad report of his brothers to his father. To most of us, that might not sound particularly helpful! We generally don’t like it when someone else talks about us behind our backs… And particularly given the tense relationship with his brothers, gossiping doesn’t seem the smartest thing to do for Joseph!

But there is more to this. Jacob’s sons were behaving extremely badly indeed. The previous chapters describe incest, murder and idolatry. All this was sinful in God’s eyes, and it “made Jacob stink to the inhabitants of the land”. If this was the “way of life” of his brothers, it was right for Joseph to tell his father — who was the one in authority, after all, and should stop it.

Joseph’s telling the truth doubtless deepened the hatred of his brothers. We might face a similar situation, and be tempted to keep quiet. But that’s not right. Evil must be stopped.

Jesus knew from personal experience: “The world […] hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil” (John 7:7). He nevertheless kept telling the truth.

What is more important to you: guarding your reputation or fighting evil?